Editor’s note: The Crestone Eagle does not endorse political candidates and is publishing this candidacy letter for equal access of all candidates to the community.
Crestone/Baca Neighbors, and Beyond…
My name is Adam Kinney, and I am running for the office of Saguache County Commissioner, in District 1, as a Democratic candidate.
I have lived here in Crestone since 2001, raised three amazing children, served as a volunteer firefighter, owned a successful small business, acted as a high school mentor, and have lost count of the thousands of hours I have served on the town board. During my time as a trustee, I have given my whole self to the process, and spent years making a stand for transparency, accessibility, and integrity in local government. I knock on the doors of my neighbors and listen to their concerns, and I do the work of building a cohesive community through budget, policy making, and fiscal responsibility. I urge cooperation with Baca Grande Water and Sanitation, and have been the only trustee to consistently state the importance of Baca residents having a voice in town matters. I am the only trustee who encouraged the board to write to the Colorado Department of Revenue and express support for removing the Municipal portion of online sales tax from Baca purchases.
Over the years, the greatest success I can measure is that for each person I have been at odds with, I have ultimately tended to the conflicts in a manner that resulted in us sitting at tables together and working for the greater good of the community. So many people can and will attest to this, and I believe this ability is what will make me a strong, efficient, and collaborative County Commissioner.
The greatest lesson I have learned was during the few years I was not serving on the board and I experienced my local government threatening my livelihood as a small business owner.
This feeling of disempowerment is the single most important quality that our commissioners need to recognize and remember in all actions that they take.
Knowing our place as elected officials is to serve the community, not to control and regulate, is absolutely vital.
So, why now?
I heard the call, and I answered.
Because people deserve a choice. One candidate is underwhelming and leads to complacency and taking the position for granted. Competition causes candidates to work harder to earn your votes and to consider your needs. I hope to inspire others to step up.
Because I have a fire in my belly to serve the county in this exact and specific manner, to make a heartfelt and fierce stand for not only preserving, but enhancing our quality of life here in the San Luis Valley.
Because I have spent the last 20 years in local governance, learning how to work within a very particular structure, and developing a set of skills which are perfectly suited for this work.
Because I love the work, meeting diverse people from all over the county, hearing their stories and needs and concerns, listening, and learning, that I may be better equipped to give myself to the tasks at hand.
As I look around at my friends and neighbors, each day I see more and more of my people who feel disenfranchised with the current political arena. They feel disempowered, unable to access or influence the decisions being made that will affect their futures, and their children’s futures. I feel responsible to step up now and invite and inspire them to participate in the decision making.
The time is now for our future leaders to recognize that they can have a seat at the table, while they are still passionate and hungry for justice and right livelihood.
I aim to set a good example.